Portrait of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
Other (Unframed): 26 x 22 1/4in. (66 x 56.5cm)
Framed: 31 1/8 x 26 5/8 x 2in.
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Acc. No. 1935.100.5,A&B
Oil portrait, painted in half-length against grey background. Body slightly turned to his left and he looks back over shoulder to his right. Perry wears dark blue military uniform with epaulettes of gold on shoulder, and gold buttons down front. High collar on coat. White shirt with ruffled neckcloth and tied in bow, high pointed collar. Face very rosy and flourid. Light brown curly long sideburns, and hair brushed forward and high above forehead.
Label:From the War of 1812 emerged a new group of American heroes. Chief among them was Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Have you heard “We have met the enemy, and they are ours”? Perry made that statement during his decisive action in the battle of Lake Erie, triumphing despite heavy odds and severe damage to his flagship. Perry’s victory was considered the single most important naval engagement of the war, elevating him to hero status and enduring fame.
Numerous portraits of heros from the War of 1812 were painted and engraved to fulfill public demand. The unidentified painter of this likeness copied an engraving that accompanied a published description of Perry’s victory. It appeared in the December 1813 issue of the Analectic Magazine, an American periodical devoted to the Navy. The engraving was, in turn, based on the portrait by Samuel Lovett Waldo, the artist who painted the image of Lafayette, on your right/left.
Provenance:Found by Holger Cahill and purchased by Mrs. Rockefeller from Stoddard & Roche, Savannah, Ga. Given to C. W. by Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.